Glacier National Park: Two Medicine Lake

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Glacier National Park➤

We spent our first day in Glacier National Park exploring the Two Medicine area. After our Aster Falls hike, we headed to Two Medicine Lake for our ride with the Glacier Park Boat Company.


Two Medicine got its name from the Blackfeet Indians. Each year, the clan seer held a vision quest to determine where the tribe should build its ceremonial medicine lodge. One year, two seers from separate clans had visions of the same place which became known as Two Medicine Lodge. They shortened it to Two Medicine later.


A ride on the Sinopah➤

We boarded the Sinopah, a 92-year-old enclosed wooden boat which has been cruising Two Medicine Lake from the park’s beginnings. Great Northern Railway’s tourism company built it in 1926. They named it after the daughter of Blackfeet chief Lone Walker. Sinopah is also the name of one of the mountains towering over Two Medicine Lake.


Naturalist Hailey narrated our 20 minute ride to the other side. She named the mountains we were passing and shared the tribal folklore behind some of the names. She told us that there are no glaciers on this side of Glacier National Park. Even though we could see large snow fields that appeared to be glaciers, they aren’t glaciers. To be considered a glacier, the mass must be 25 square acres, 100 feet tall and show some signs of movement.


We docked at the Twin Falls trailhead and hiked it with our boat captain/naturalist Nathan. We rode the 3:00 boat back, this time with Nathan providing commentary (along with some groan-worthy jokes) and Hailey driving. As we approached the general store and other buildings, Nathan pointed out the Swiss-inspired architecture.


The general store carries souvenirs, camping necessities and has a small snack bar. It was originally one of the park’s lodges. Louis Hill, president of the Great Northern Railroad, built most of the lodges like Swiss Chalets. He considered Glacier National Park to be the ‘Alps of America’. He wanted to encourage wealthy easterners to use his trains to ‘See America First’, rather than voyage to Europe.


Two Medicine Posts➤

Location: 2 Medicine Rd, East Glacier Park, Mt 59434
Designation: National
Date designated/established: May 11, 1910
Date of my visit: June 23, 2018

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